Zhao Lijian

US needs to take concrete actions, lift unilateral Iran sanctions if it seeks JCPOA return: China

China says the United States is required to take “concrete actions” and completely lift its illegal and unilateral sanctions against Iran in order to return to the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks during his regular press conference on Thursday in response to a question about Beijing’s view on the prospect of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on the sixth anniversary of its conclusion and amid negotiations in Vienna to revive the agreement, which was abandoned by the US in 2018.

“China welcomes the fact that the US seeks to return to the JCPOA. In the meantime, the US side needs to show sincerity by taking concrete actions to regain the trust of the international community.”

He added that the Vienna talks have entered the final stage with all parties showing their “political will to reach an agreement” but the remaining differences should be bridged.

“The US should make an early decision to comprehensively and completely lift its illegal unilateral sanctions against Iran and third parties, while Iran should fully resume its compliance on this basis,” the Chinese diplomat pointed out.

The Vienna talks began in early April with the aim of reviving the JCPOA by bringing all original parties, especially the US, back into compliance with the deal, three years after Washington withdrew from the accord and tried to sabotage it.

So far, six rounds of negotiations have been held in the Austrian capital, as a result of which, according to participants, “significant progress” has been made in the course of the “constructive” and “businesslike” talks.